on September 8, 2012
This little portable router worked perfectly, with the setup minimal. Only thing missing was a case or pouch to carry it.
I went to Las Vegas recently with my Nexus 7 tablet, which does not have a wired ethernet port. I also assumed that some of the hotels in Vegas still had wired internet connections in their rooms. My stay was at the Monte Carlo, which only has the wired connection in the room. So I plugged cable into this router in the Access Point mode, which in turn sends out wi-fi signals that my Nexus7 picked up. A couple of tabs on the Nexus7 to accept the hotels terms, etc. and I had internet access. I was able to check my emails, etc. in my room. Since the hotel charges you a daily fee which includes Internet access, might as well put it to good use.
So this TP-Link router worked as advertised. Plug in the required cables, setup was almost automatic, and instant wi-fi connection to the Internet. The price was great too.
I had ordered a Medialink wifi router just a week before I got this as a part of Amazon vine.
Now, I regret that I had to order the bulky expensive router while this mini gadget is working wonderfully. To begin with, I had low expectations about this device since I had a bad experience with a Linksys portable router which I had bought 5 years back. In order to be 100% sure that this router was as good as the medialink router I did a couple of tests
(1) Connect 2 laptops to the wifi router
(2) Connected 2 iphones to the wifie router
(3) Tested download and upload speeds from a 10' distance
(4) Tested download and upload speeds from a 20' distance across 3 walls
What I noticed is that there was practically no difference in the speed or performance between the medialink wifi router and this mini wonder.
The only caveat is that this one does not have any additional LAN/Ethernet/RJ-45 ports if you want to connect a vonage/ooma or any other IP Phone.
But the biggest Plus point of this router is that this one has 3G connector which means you can connect your 3G dongle and get wifi anywhere including your car.
The Power plug for this router is designed in a way that it can be plugged into your car adapter (via USB)
Overall - a very versatile (3G + LAN), compact router which can beat any expensive router in price and performance.
Noticed I didn't write mini-router, because in spite of its small size it performs as well as a regular size router, but it has many more capabilities. Some of the most important ones are the following: It's portable, and it comes with a Lithium 2000mAh chargeable battery, it supports 3G Router Mode, WISP Client Router Mode, Wireless Router Mode, Access Point, Repeater, Bridge with Access Point and Client. It includes a 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet port, and one micro USB port, and it's compatible with iPad, iTouch, Android Phone, Kindle and the majority portable WiFi devices.
It also comes with a complete command control panel or web management page that can be access with any browser by typing [...] in the address bar. It can be easy to setup by choosing Quick Setup or if one needs it, it can be set in a custom detailed way using many security features like parental control or WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK authentication, and TKIP/AES encryption security. I uploaded a screen shot of the web management page where the many options are displayed.
My favorite mode is the WISP Client Router Mode because in this mode, the TL-MR3040 is wirelessly connected to the WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) or Access Point and it can share the internet to multiple users. In this instance the TL-MR3040 acts as a wireless adapter, catching the wireless WiFi signal from any Access Point and sharing it. It's my preferred method of using the TL-MR3040, mainly due to the fact that I can plug the TL-MR3040 into the Ethernet port of a laptop or a netbook, leaving the USB ports free to use with other devices while reaching the maximum speed, which in this case is up to 150Mbps - one that excels what the integrated wireless adapter in the device can provide.
I got it because I wanted a router that I could use with my Virgin Mobile 3G. The service can be expensive, but at least, I always have a good connection at any time, and anywhere. I added the TL-MR3040 to my emergency kit list because it can be charged like a smartphone, using a solar system charger, or with a car battery using an inverter. This was tested in the most unexpected way after a storm, when we spent a few days without electricity and without our regular Internet connection. I already had the Virgin Mobile 3G for about a year, and it has been useful during previous storms, but during those, I also learned that having a child who is bored and wants to go online, is another issue to deal with during a power outage. So, the TL-MR3040 can be a stress suppressor by allowing to share Internet with the rest of the family at all times.
Please keep in mind that like every gadget which uses a Lithium battery, you need to keep charging and discharging the TL-MR3040 battery in order to keep it alive. Using the modem while traveling and storing it after coming home until the next time you need it, might result in a dead battery. So, just use it once in a while around the house. It's a good way to share a connection with friends or family members that are visiting during the weekend, for example.
on March 19, 2013
- Fast data throughput from 4G LTE modem to WiFi connected devices;
- Extremely light and compact travel router (powered by USB from laptop or even portable battery pack);
- Great price;
- Can be used for Macbook, PC Laptop, iPhone, iPad and Android phones;
- Limited use for media streaming of music and movies from Macbook to TV, using Airplay/AirParrot and Apple TV 3Gen
- Unreliable network(ie. signal drop/disconnect or cannot connect to WiFi) when multiple devices connected ( > 5 devices);
- Average antenna strength;
- 150 Mbp/s wireless N not adequate for family media streaming and online gaming, or using Plex Media Server;
- Advanced network features like Port Forwarding and uPnP hard to setup and poorly implemented;
- Poor LAN connectivity (ie. slow and unreliable)through single 10/100T LAN port.
I use this router to get wifi from my 4G LTE modem (ZTE MF820) to all my wireless devices - Macbook, PC Laptop, iPhone, iPad, Android phone (Samsung Note), Apple TV and a Synology NAS 413j.
As a basic 4G wifi router, this device is excellent. I regularly get download speeds of around 15-20 MBp/s throughput from my 4G LTE modem over wifi. This makes this device more than capable for handling basic internet browsing, downloads, and acceptable for online multimedia viewing on my computers and wireless devices from Netflix and Hulu+.
I've even used this router to stream music and video content from my Macbook to Apple TV via Airplay and Air Parrot without issue (as long as no other devices are using the Wifi - see below). 4G LTE ----> Router --wireless--> Laptop --wireless--> Router --wireless--> Apple TV is okay.
As a personal or travel router, this device is unmatched at this price point, given its extremely light and compact size (can fit in palm and as light as a candy bar), and competitive price. It even runs off a portable USB battery charger (used to charge mobile accessories) to give wifi on the road.
Things start to go pear shaped when you want to use this router as a home router replacement or network hub.
I connected a Synology NAS 413j to this device both through the 10/100T LAN port and wireless. Transfer speeds over LAN
(ie. Laptop --wireless--> Router --Cat5e cable-> Synology NAS) to and from my Laptop were barely acceptable at around 2 Mbp/s.
I gave up on the wireless as it was so slow (ie. Laptop --wireless--> Router --wireless-->NAS) at around 300 KBp/s.
However, the biggest problem I have noticed, is that when more than 3 or 4 devices are wireless connected, or when there is a device connected to the LAN port of the router, the network becomes very unstable. My internet and network keeps on dropping out, and the speed between devices becomes unacceptably slow. This is evident when I try to stream multimedia TV and music contect over Plex Server from my Macbook or PC to iPad etc. When only two devices are using the Wifi (for Plex) its fine, but as soon as other devices are connected for internet browsing etc. speeds become intolerably slow and unstable.
Advanced router features like port forwarding and uPnP are also hard to setup and not well implemented (couldn't get them to work with my Plex server or NAS file servers).
I've upgraded to a wireless N 300Mbp/s (TP Link MR 3420) and these issues have gone, so my only conclusion is that the 150 Mbp/s wireless N and 10/100T LAN port, do not really support high bandwidth or advanced network usage (ie. media streaming or multiple online gaming clients).
As a home network hub or home router replacement, the 150 Mbp/s wireless N and single 10/100T WAN/LAN port do not give adequate or reliable throughput. When several devices are wireless connected, the wireless signal slows down significantly and becomes very unstable (ie. dropped signals). Single device streaming over Airplay is adequate, but Plex Media streaming, or online gaming and media streaming when multiple devices are wirelessly connected is very slow.
As a personal or travel router however - for which this unit I think was actually designed - to convert a 4G LTE modem or wired ethernet to Wifi, this router is fabulous. It gives fast throughput from 4G LTE to single connected devices, for web browsing, online media viewing and limited media streaming, at an unbeatable price.
on November 30, 2013
If you intend to use this product as a 3G/4G router, stop reading this review.
For Android users, loading this router with OpenWRT with ddserver installed (do a Web search for "DSLR Dashboard and MR3040"), this makes an excellent choice for remotely controlling a DSLR camera (I use it with a Nikon D5100). Don't be fooled by the "CamRanger"; if you're an Android user, you don't need it (notice how much it resembles this router; that's because it IS this router, but loaded with proprietary firmware).
Cost for an Android user to remote control Nikon (and some Canon) DSLRs? <$40
Cost for an iOS user? $299.99 (using the "CamRanger," since it's the only option at this time).